Thursday, 10 April 2008

Notes from left field.

    Make me a better place
    it's filled with a little love, yeah
    make me a better place
    it's filled with a little love, yea

Oh, look. It's a better day, a stronger morning, a chance to get some things out that I won't say out loud for fear that I go up in smoke or catch fire or maybe just blow off the face of the earth like dandelion fluff on a warm summer breeze into the endless blue sky.

It's raining. A glorious dark sky, closed in, warm. Cozy.

The box thing. Really, it's better that it's not here. If I need it I know where to go. And it's a tiny little satellite Jacob that fits in two hands. The mothership was taken back to Newfoundland by Jacob's parents. All ten pounds of it. They wanted to do it the other way around but I was otherwise engaged and not here to argue and it was decided for me that the smaller one would be more Bridget. I could carry it around. Oh how I carried it around at first.

There is no obituary. Stop looking. There was a lovely tribute in the church Jacob grew up in and the one that he left here which amounted to something he had written and a picture of the four of us above it and otherwise his parents were too horrified to announce his death publicly. Suicide isn't something you speak of, you see. They are old-fashioned like that, as they well should be at their ages. They, like me, almost six months later are just beginning to try on their new shoes of bereavement and finding out that they are still too tight, painfully so, and you can't walk in them yet so they'll go back in the dark closet and let's just close the door now, shall we? We'll try them on again another day.

Yes his things are still in that closet and yes every day I'd like to go in there and shut the door and never come out again. Instead I go in the pantry and sit by the Keebler boxes and wish I lived in the cookie factory inside the little cartoon tree because I bet that no one ever cries in that house. I make a very good elf.

Ben has come in the pantry three times to sit with me. He's been very good about this. The first time he sat down and brought two shelves and fourteen cans of soup and fruit down on our heads. It hurt like hell but we laughed because Ben doesn't quite fit in the pantry. He didn't adopt Joel's trick of turning around, getting as close to the door as possible and then sitting down slowly beside where I tuck in beside the baskets on the floor. He's getting the hang of it now.

He brings home a new CD just about every week for me to try out and listen to. He's trying desperately to avoid the old favorites and the crashing pain of me listening to songs that tear my heart apart. I can't afford any more injuries to my poor little heart and for the work I try to do to strengthen it every day those new seams that I sew are tested and sometimes they hold but sometimes they're weakened and I know this patch job won't hold forever but for now it's still better than nothing.

Loch calls me every single day to talk, only he tells me about Hope and all the wonderful things she can do and he tells me things I shouldn't be told about himself and his struggles to be a dad from far off because instead of getting married they broke up again and we trade miseries and confessions and call it support. It's his only way of keeping tabs from far away and Ben has begun to resent it just enough to bring a difficulty to things and I don't blame him in the least but for now no one is going to go out of their way to point it out.

Ben and I are terrific, thanks for asking. I love him to bits but there's still a huge part of us falling back on friendship to get us through the very hard parts. It's sometimes very awkward. Well, Ben is very awkward sometimes, tripping over his own feet and his own words as much, and then other times he's the smartest person I've ever met, cool and smooth and sure of everything. I like him best when he's warm and funny and making sick jokes and being so perverted I don't think I'll ever let him have lunch with my mother. My kids are used to him, he tones it down or complicates it enough to keep them from being corrupted. They think he's awesome. And he likes them for them. He isn't trying to step in and be a father to them. Ben has never wanted to be a father in his life to anyone, but he's told a few people now (not me) that if he had to chose children to be responsible for and to love (he already loves them) it would be my two. No small feat for a man who is a giant child sometimes.

That isn't an insult. Hell, look at me. I am so immature I let people lead me wherever they want to go and then I realize I'm lost and I need to find my way back but I wind up hitchhiking on a back road and along comes a truck with a guy inside and he looked familiar and he told me not to expect him to carry my baggage because he had his own and it was heavy enough. And then he asked for my help in carrying his stuff too and I agreed and it was maybe the best thing ever. It gave me purpose and it gave me power, to be the strong one.

Even though sometimes? I think he's pretending just to see how far I will get. I hope I can surprise him because I'd like to make him happy. I'd like to make me happy too and I have to come first.

Don't I?